We made it! One year, twelve issues of Artborne. I began the magazine as a creative outlet if someone had told me all of my work would be paperwork, contracts, meetings, and emails…. I still would’ve gone through with it. My favorite part of my job was putting together a publisher’s note once a month.
We dedicated our September issue of Artborne to Hispanic Heritage Month.
“My mother immigrated to the United States on May 8, 1986 on a student visa. When it expired, she chose to remain here illegally. Her story is strikingly similar to the stories of millions of immigrants in this country. She cleaned houses, hospitals, and hotels for nearly two decades. In 2004, she became a citizen of this country. Hers is a story of perseverance and hope. The world was, and continues to be, built on the blood and sweat of laborers.”
After posting images of our infamous November cover, we began receiving emails from upset readers. A member of our own staff rallied against my decision to run the image of Donald Trump as an ass-clown. My response came by way of my publisher’s note saying,
“The single most recurring question I’ve received after we released the cover image for this month is, “Where’s the painting of Hillary?” The implication, of course, is that we’re just another liberal media outlet, hell bent on screwing the Republican nominee out of his god-granted Manifest Destiny.
Hillary Clinton is a career politician, true, and the American research firm, Gallup, has shown politicians to be rated low on honesty and ethical standards, coming second only to lobbyists. But comparing her to Donald Trump is a sin I won’t commit. Nor will I vilify Trump’s constituency and play into the same cycle of hate and segregation that has characterized our country for centuries.
After the death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia, I realized everyone is good for someone. Politics serve interests, and the wealthy few are always served first. It’s the role of art to question and challenge this, and pave the way for change.”
Of course one of the most crucial decisions we made in our brief run was the publishing of Becky Flanders’ work. The argument of censorship was everywhere. We discussed in depth the possible outcomes of publishing the work. Again, a staff member threatened to resign. Knowing what our decision could cost us, we ran with our cover artists, and her piece “Autorretrato Como Fuente.”
“Fiction writer A.C. Crispin once wrote, “Remember that on any world the wind eventually wears away the stone, because the stone can only crumble; the wind can change.” … Orlando has been thirsty for growth in the arts; the millions funneled into the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center should serve as an indicator. And yet, Orlando remains a small, conservative city in the arts, content to produce pleasant work with little desire to challenge anyone—challenge being a word often associated with offense.”
That was the beginning of the end for us. We would stagger through three more months and finish the year, but the damage was done. It was a decision I will always stand by. Of course, I published the June issue knowing it would be my last. I kept the information a secret hoping to sell the company to an interested party. In vain I hoped taking the blame and resigning would allow Artborne to live on to serve the Orlando community. In June, my last note read…
“In mentioning all the above, I’d like to remind you that art is amazing. It transcends all boundaries and has the ability to tackle nearly any obstacle. In the coming months, I hope you understand the symbolism of the chosen cover image for June by Nicholas Boyd, in relation to the path of ARTBORNE Magazine. In spite of it being cliche, I’d like to mention—every ending is just another beginning.”